‘Disappointed’ Syrian opposition thinks U.S. congress will OK strike

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Syria's main opposition bloc said Sunday it was disappointed with U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to seek approval from Congress for action against the regime, but said it believed lawmakers would OK a strike.

“We had a feeling of disappointment. We were expecting things to be quicker, that a strike would be imminent... But we believe Congress will approve a strike,” said Samir Nashar, a top official at the Syrian National Coalition.

To general surprise, Obama on Saturday postponed threatened missile strikes against Syria that the world had thought were imminent, opting instead for the risky gamble of getting Congress approval.

This effectively pushes back any military action aimed at punishing the regime over an alleged poison gas attack until at least September 9, when U.S. lawmakers return from their summer recess.

Nashar said the coalition was confident that Arab foreign ministers who meet Sunday in Cairo would give “very strong support” to U.S.-led military action.

“The Turkish position is also very important. Washington needs this support,” the Istanbul-based official said.

“The coalition will get in touch with Arab countries and Turkey so that they cooperate as much as possible with the United States,” he said.

“We will try to push these countries to take part in the military operation, which will greatly alleviate the suffering of Syrians.”

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